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Apollo C15TN wing -Sail Rip in Flight - 02.jpg
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  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    A couple of photos of the Apollo C15TN that we see in the video where the sail failed in flight.
  • Jim Davidson
    by Jim Davidson 1 year ago
    He said it was like flying a picnic table. I think some discussion on fabric testing is due. That wing had over 700 logged hours on it but who knows how many UV hours. I've made several flights to visit friends for the day and my trike sits outside for hours. Hobbs times are irrelevant when it comes to wing UV exposure.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    A couple of facts were pointed out to me ... by very knowledgeable people:

    1) The wing barely held together just by the underside of the sail that was not UV degraded
    2) You can see the difference in color difference in the nose (without the nose cone) and the UV degradation is noticeable even visually.

    Trevor pointed out that if the upper surface material is Mylar, it is less resistant to age & UV as the Dacron most use. I do not know if it is Mylar but looks very shiny so may be Mylar ... Abid will know for sure.

    If the BETSS test was performed in the undersurface (which we can see is actually much less degraded --- likely not degraded as it held) ... then obviously the BETTS test will pass .. but not really a test that will give any indication of the condition.

    We must follow the proper procedures (per manufacturer) to do our condition inspections and make sure these sail tests are taken seriously. Also any holes, damages, etc to the sail must be dealt properly. No ... duck tape won't fix all that... I did fix my very old hang glider wings using duck tape .. but those days are gone .. thanks God
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    Regarding testing the sail, in the case of P&M there is a set of instructions as to precisely what areas of the sail & stitching to test, as well as the pulls (in grams) to pass the test. Also a description on how to use the testing tool, etc. I assume other manufacturers provide similar information.

    An A&P authorized to do your condition inspection, but not familiar with the manufacturer recommended sail test, and tools, etc and that is not really that familiar with trikes in general .. may be able to sign your inspection but not really be able to do the proper tests.

    Just randomly testing a sail does not really work at all. I believe Abid mentioned that earlier. And not testing because the sail "looks great" .. well, that is not good either.

    If some UV degradation to the color can be seen by just an eye inspection then even stronger reason to properly test and suspect degradation to the sail. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer or change your wing/sail.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Hi Tony:
    Well I do not use old Apollo wings for US serial production so I actually do not know what material is used by C-15TN. Our wings are completely different than what Apollo uses. Our engine installation, fuel tank installation, wiring and avionics are also completely different than European production. The only thing the same is the basic frame and fiberglass.

    So me trying to compare US serial production to Hungarian production is like you buying the fiberglass parts from P&M and making the rest of the trike in Alabama and saying its P&M. It doesn't work. Apollo tried to use testing and manuals we had for some German certification and it really does not work because they have a completely different set of critical sub-systems and wing than us.

    But in this case, the UV degradation is quite obvious on the top surface just looking at the leading edge color change from under the nose cone area to the outboard area.

    The top surface obviously gets the largest UV exposure so the bettsometer test should be done mainly there near the root, outboard towards the tip and then on the undersurface. Most likely place for failing this is the top of the wing not the bottom. Both stitching and cloth need to be tested and Bettsometer comes with instructions on how to conduct the test. Manufacturer defines the general area where the test should be conducted. The problem with Apollo in Hungary is they don't provide any documentation so if you are not an experienced trike guy or engineering guy you are left in the dark and their support there sucks. Thus I use them for sub-assemblies they are decent at and do the rest ourselves. I have better documentation and more drawings about their own sub-assemblies than they do and I make them do engineering changes that make us compliant to ASTM standard when needed.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    Abid, I know is an old wing and not what you use but since at one point you guys were importing the Apollo (back in the days) perhaps ... even if you did not use this model wing .. you may know if if was Mylar.

    I do not really blame the manufacturer at all !!!! this is a 12 year old wing with 700 hrs that has obviously have gone beyond service and degraded badly by UV and who knows what else. I do not even know if the owner had it since new ... likely he purchased used, and trusted another individual (perhaps A&P) to do the condition inspection ... obviously an individual that did not know what he was doing when testing the sail.

    Now, that being said, the owner did complaint that after the incident he got basically no support at all from the manufacturer. That I guess is another story.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Hi Tony: I think we imported 2 wings from Apollo way back in the beginning like in 2004 and 2005 and I think they may have been C15TN. Who does this trike belong to? Is it in the US. If it is in the US then at some point it went through my hands and the owner in the US does not need to go to Apollo, they need to come to me. The trike in the video is a Racer with a fiberglass fuel tank and those should never use ethanol fuel or they will dissolve inside out. Do you who owns it?
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    I figured out that the owner and this trike is probably in Sweden.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    yes, David in Sweden
  • Jim Davidson
    by Jim Davidson 1 year ago
    The top surface of this wing is the same as my Aeros Profi, grilled nylon as Aeros calls it on their site. I'm wondering if there is a manufacturer product name for this material and if there are different testing procedures associated with it. Given the nature of this material I don't think a Bettsometer is the right tool to test with but what do I know? A Bettsometer is really used for popping threads and this stuff is a film laced with nylon cords.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Jim the name of that material you are thinking of is Grille NCV Polyester. It's made by a sail making company in Holland or Denmark.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    Jim, absolutely accurate and very important observation. Indeed the standard Betts test loads used do not apply to that material (mylar sail with film & reinforcement cords)

    Whatever was being done to test the condition was being done wrong, hence "passing" test yet failing in flight + from what I understand they were testing the under surface and not the main sail. Not good.

    This is why it is so important to follow the aircraft manufacturer's procedures to do the condition inspection, and if the manufacturer does not provide with such, then purchase another brand that does.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 1 year ago
    Abid , tony really good info here guys. I think ill do a better imspection on my mustang 3 . It has been hangered all its life but rob always had the hanger doors open alot. I can see on the leading edges where discoloration from uv. But the top looks crisp crisp.so even if your wing is hangered if you dont keep the doors shut uv damage on your l. E. Could be deceptive if you only tesy the back.
    I think abid has it about right , thank god the lower surface didnt fail. Looked like it keeped the wing still creating lift from the second batton out. Pilot did just a great job keeping it flyimg and getting it on the ground!
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 1 year ago
    wouldn't a 'skinny' stainless steel wire incorporated in the trailing edge , during construction have added a measure of safety, to this wing and all others out there?
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 1 year ago
    MT Square was a cloth upgrade that was used on my Solairus wing. Kamron at NW had good words to say about it. Very strong antistretch properties. This was used on my top surface and trailing edge. Also has enhanced UV resistance. No need for SS wire. If desired some Kevlar or spectra can be incorporated into the trailing edge construction. More info on MT Square here http://www.dimension-polyant.com/en/Wovens_2_1_1.php#square
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 1 year ago
    Monty, many modern wings already have very strong reinforcement fibers incorporated to the trailing edge (and rip resistant). I know all P&M wings do, other manufacturers do as well. These are more practical and as strong as thin SS wire that may not be practical for flexing / folding / etc.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 1 year ago
    SS wire is not practical in wing construction. Not the right physical property profile. Also Kevlar is about 10 times stronger than steel on an equivalent weight basis.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 1 year ago
    hi joe/tony, just shows why i don't build wings! what rear edge material was used on the wing shown? as far as stainless wire not being amenable to folding , kingpost wings don't present much difficulty in folding. we once did a 'test' where a 200# concrete block was dragged behind a pick-up truck via a 1/16inch ss wire, we dragged it over rough ground up to 40mph till we decided to abuse something else! the wire survived with no apparent damage. the block got ' scratched up'. (the 'moderate' use of beverage may have been involved!) i don't remember seeing any other material used for 'flying wires' than ss. whatever was used to 'reinforce' the wing shown evidently died due to uv degradation. i doubt if uv would have degraded ss to the point of failure had it been used as t.e. i believe that the 'fortunate' outcome of this near tragedy could have been less 'iffy' had a skinny bit of wire been used inside the t.e. that gap between the torn t'e' was screaming out for a skinny wire to bridge it!
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 1 year ago
    it would be interesting, and informative for the 'wing gurus' to explain, with the limitations of two 'grainy' photos to explain how this descent and safe landing was even possible! SOMETHING kept that wing from completely disintergrating in flight. the kingpost wires are usually flapping and don't 'stiffen up' till the wing 'aint' flying no more. but, i suppose if both halves of the now 'trying to seperate' maybe thev resisted enough to keep some control. amazing, and puzzling! how?
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 1 year ago
    WOW! i just watched the video on ALLTRIKES .com of this failure, scary !
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